Watseka Avenue

This street was born in 1915 as Warner Avenue, a nod to Charles Henry Warner (1872-1944), speedometer manufacturer and early Culver City investor. Once it entered Los Angeles city limits, however, it conflicted with an existing Warner Ave. near USC and so a name change was demanded. (Ironically, that Warner no longer exists.) The new moniker, Watseka, can only come from one place: Watseka, IL, an Iroquois County town some 80 miles south of Chicago. My guess is that L.A. civil engineers chose “Watseka” simply because it started with the same letters as “Warner” – they did that a lot back then. As for the Illinois city, it was named in 1865 after a well-known Potawatomi woman whose name was actually Watch-e-kee (c. 1810 – c. 1873). There’s almost zero hard data on her, but her first husband Gurdon Saltonstall Hubbard was a credible witness and he told an Iroquois County historian her saga in 1880.